On Becoming a Woman I Truly Am

As a young girl and woman I struggled with staying true to my own self. I often compromised to fit in and did what was expected of me by society/school/parents but often at the cost of losing my own identity, self-esteem and happiness. Especially if what I was being asked for was flying in the face of what felt right to me. There were times I had agreed to do something I really didn’t feel like doing only to conform to societal customs and rules because I was trained to be polite and obedient.  I continued to play different roles in my life in an effort to please different people but never truly finding my own voice.

For years I was stuck living my life according to other people’s expectations and somehow afraid to show my true colors. Quite honestly, between playing the roles of a perfect wife, mother and a home maker and fulfilling my obligations I lost my own identity. Even in my art I never truly portrayed a woman as her own person, my heroines were always dreaming or had their eyes closed.

Bird © Monika Mraovic

Bird © Monika Mraovic

Then, as it often is in life, I was thrown some lemons to make lemonade out of them. Of course, at a time it had happened I could only see the lemons. With time, lots of time, and some effort on my part I reevaluated my life. At forty I was no more a naivete who wanted to please, always sacrifice my own feelings and happiness; it felt imperative to shed my old beliefs and start living in accordance with my own heart. Last year was the darkest year in my life where I was bouncing between living in despair and finding hope for my new endeavors but finally … I emerged as a new person.

The wise people say that transformation is always difficult and can be a painful process. I am grateful for the darkest period in my life and the guidance of my angels who helped me through this bleak period. The path to self-discovery was a hard one but so worthy to follow.

Today I feel good about my heart based choices and sticking to my guns. I don’t feel sorry about doing something that feels right inside my heart. At forty, I am finally not shy – I am finally learning who I truly am. As a woman, I feel it is extremely important to share that vision of shining our own unique light to empower, inspire countless women who feel they are deprived of choice to express themselves. The greatest obstacle on the way to becoming who I am was ME and my fear of failure.

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